Interview with Pete Koziell
Jules says his new dvd is just the beginning. Its 5pm on a chilly Monday evening in Melbourne, I have ﬁnally arranged to sit down with Brisbane salon owner Jules Tognini, to chat with him over Skype about his new DVD ‘Lil off the top’.
I had viewed the DVD a few times over the week leading up to the Interview. And it wasn’t quite what one would expect out of an Educational DVD. It’s a somewhat relaxed and refreshing format. Jules demonstrating 4 bespoke haircuts, 2 mens, and 2 womens, which he had given quirky and clever names: The Kramer, The Rizzo, The Frankenstein and The Robert. Cuts ranging from eccentric to down right freaky. Something one who was familiar with Jules’ photographic work http://www.hairexpoaustralia.com/en/photos/2012/Collections/Jules-Tognini/ (click link to view Jules’ ﬁnalist awarded hair expo entry) would expect. Tight tapering, Undercuts, Disconnection and overhanging pieces were all featured.
The cuts were ﬁlmed at Jules’s salon ‘AKA Tognini’s’ in Fortitude Valley in Brisbane, giving a back story and environment to the haircuts. Jules himself was dressed quite casual, a reﬂection of his personal style. Vintage boots, denim jeans with a large tear at the knee, blue denim shirt over a white low cut tee shirt and hair long and loosely slicked back and tightly tapered at the sides.
Jules would consult each of his cut models on camera to plot out the cut, sometimes cheekily defying these promises. Jules’ came across as very real and raw during the cuts. At a point In ‘The Rizzo’ cut where Jules comes to the fringe and after debating with his model on a length she would be comfortable with, Jules combs his section, opens his scissors, for a moment hesitates, and then cuts away. A little too short. We have all done it. I laughed and was immediately able to relate to him, like ‘yeah dude, I know exactly how you felt at that moment! haha!’ alas the fringe looked great, and the model seemed okay with it.
However, after watching the dvd, I couldn’t help but feel confused as to what Jules was trying to achieve out of this piece, Sure, the dvd was entertaining, he had shown creative cuts that I had never seen on any other educational dvd. But what was the point of it all? What was this dvd suppose to provide for the Australian hairdressing Industry?
P – Jules, thanks for ﬁnding the time to chat, you’re a hard man to get ahold of…
J – Thanks Pete, things are pretty full on for me at the moment, I’m in the middle of planning with some buddies to tour Europe later this month. We’re going to partake in the running of the bulls and ride the Tour de France course. Apart from that, I have been organizing the next step in the plan after the ‘Lil off the top DVD’ was released at Hair Expo last month.
P – And I guess thats why we are catching up today. Tell me man, how did that all come about?
J – One of my good mates, Matty Roberts is a producer, and we have always wanted to do a project together, it started off as an idea for a short ﬁlm about hairdressing culture, But I wanted to tie my love for education into the project. I have always been a big fan of Jamie Oliver, and the inﬂuence he has had on cooking. I guess that tied all the ideas together. With a little help from Evo and Cloud 9 the project really started moving forward. We called it ‘Edutainment’
P – I really enjoyed watching it man, andIi think even people who aren’t involved in our industry would still ﬁnd it entertaining…
J – I really wanted to get away from the stale regularity of our industries cutting education videos, they all have the same sterile hair, a white background, horrible music… I guess my vision for ‘a lil off the top’ is to inspire young people who might be interested in joining our industry. To show the public that hairdressers are cool, talented, creative people. Not just an industry where kids drop out of school and see hairdressing as an easy option. Our industry is much more then that, and I wanted give people a taste of my style as a hairdresser.
P – What are you hoping ‘Lil off the top’ will evolve into?
J – I announced at Hair Expo that with the help of Haircare Australia we will take ‘a lil off the top’ on the road. Visiting large towns across Eastern Australia holding 2 day long education workshops on Mens and Ladies cutting. I have dates from now until November and so far we’re visiting 5 towns: Geelong, Canberra, Albury, Newcastle and Townsville. These shows have all sold out already! Its been great to see peoples interest! I’m really stoked to be visiting towns that aren’t capital cities, The people are generally really eager to learn new techniques and cuts, and get really excited about having me run these workshops.
P – Thats awesome man, so the DVD has already evolved into an education brand, is this something you want to pursue?
J – Yeah, as I said before I really have a passion for Educating, I ﬁnd that the most rewarding part of my job, so its great to see it all happening. If all goes well, I’d like to see the DVD become a yearly thing, and eventually grow the ‘a lil off the top’ education brand to a point where I have a creative team of young hairdressers educating. It will be a really powerful thing to have a whole education team made up of people from Gen Y. I think its really what our Industry needs right now.
P – Where can people purchase your DVD?
J – Its on sale through Haircare Australia (1300 437 436 / firstname.lastname@example.org or internationally +61 8 84038200). for RRP $50
P – Jules, thanks for your time, I’m really excited to see this project grow! Is there any way Hairdressers can keep up with what you’re doing?
J – Yeah! I have a blog that I put a lot of energy into which is http://liloffthetop.com/ I put all
sorts of stuff on there, News, Pics, Movies, I like to keep the blog light hearted and entertaining, Ill never take myself too seriously. Check me out on Twitter @lil_off_the_top and the ol Instragram @mejulies. Thanks!